Home
About
Mini Pot Bellies
Contact Us
Email Me

Basic Pig Care


How To Take Care of Your Pig

 

 

Printable Version

Supplies

  • Mazuri Mini Pig Feed
  • Emory Board or Rasp
  • Baby Oil or lotion
  • Shampoo (and possibly Vaseline)
  • Alcohol and cotton balls
  • Books on Pig Care
  • Shots

Feed Me!

Pot Belly Pigs need 1/2 cup of food per 25 pounds of body weight (divided into half and given in two separate meals). Your baby should eat at least 1/4 cup per day. Increase their food as they grow (keeping the rule of 1/2 cup per 25 pounds in mind).

We have never thought this was enough so we feed our babies 1/2 cup per day and our adults 1 cup per day. But, don’t forget that food is a great motivator and you may be feeding them a lot more than you realize. A bag of Mauri Mini Pig feed should last you around 3 months. Remember, a Pig is always a Pig. If you put food in front of it, it will eat it.

Setting a schedule

Pigs like a set feeding schedule. We feed ours around 7:00 A.M and 6:00 P.M central time every day. You should gradually change that to meet your schedule.

Weight concerns

If you notice that your pig is getting overweight, cut back a little. If the pig is underweight, give them a little more. Pot Bellies need to have a healthy belly but you do not want them so big they cannot function. Pigs are much more active and fun to play with when they that are not too fat.

Snacking in front of a pig

Don’t snack or eat in front of a pig unless you are willing to share or give it something else to eat. Kids should be careful not to eat candy when they are loving on their pig.

Clean Me!

Bathe your baby in lukewarm water only when they are dirty and smelly. They have dry skin so you don’t want to over-bathe them. Putting a dab of Vaseline in their eyes protects them from shampoo burns.

I use Head-And-Shoulders or Aveeno Oatmeal baths. I suggest that you put a couple of inches of water in a tub and just set your pig in there (without even trying to bathe it) to learn how it will react and figure out what things you might want easily at hand. I keep pellets (pig food) nearby to calm them down and distract them. Normally, I float veggies in the water so that they can chomp on them.

Dry skin and odors

If your pig lives indoors, you want to keep Baby Oil on it to control flaking and keep their skin from being so dry. If your pig lives outdoors and you want to control flaking, something with sun block is better. Baby Oil in the sun cooks pigs just like it cooks humans.

Ear care (theirs and yours)

Clean their ears with alcohol on a cotton ball. Do not use a Q-Tip.

Have cotton balls readily available to stuff in your own ears! A pig can squeal louder than a jet engine at takeoff.

Hoof care

Once a month, use an emory board (or a rasp) to file down the white or see through overhang on their hooves. A pig’s hooves are very much like our own toenails. Overgrown hooves cause poor posture and make walking difficult. We have been filing their hooves already so they will be used to you doing so.

Hold Me!

Pigs will not allow you to just reach down and pick them up. You have to coax them a little. Extend your hand and let them smell it. Start scratching their back and work your way to their belly. Then, pick them up. But, be sure that their feet are secure when you do. The harder you try to “catch” them, the faster they will run away. Entice them to come to you.

Loving care

Pigs love to be scratched. They will flop over on their side and roll their tummy up so you can get them in just the right spot. They like to sit in the chair with you when you are watching TV.

Take Me to the Bathroom!

Pigs are easy to potty train. In the pen, they have one corner that they use all of the time. You can train them to go outside or in a litter box. Train them just like you would train a dog. The smaller the room, the easier it is to train them.

Do not use pelletized litter because they will try to eat it. Newspaper works just fine. Squawking and squealing for no apparent reason is usually a good sign that a pig needs to go potty.

Help Me Recover!

Under normal circumstances, you can’t just stick your hand in a crate and grab a pig. And it is even worse when they are scared and confused. Go easy. Offer food, to entice them out of the crate. Or, just open the door and let them come out on their own.

Consider starting off in a small room or enclosed area that doesn’t have a lot of small places where they can fit but you cannot.....

Give me my blankie!

A pig’s sense of smell is extremely keen. We have held and loved your baby a lot.

We are sending a T-shirt or some other article of clothing that one of us has worn around. Let your pig sleep with that for a while so that it can adjust a little easier.

Introduce Me to Some Friends!

Pigs get along well with lots of other animals. In fact, they would prefer to be with other animals than to be alone. You just need to make sure that you watch them interact a few times before you leave them alone together for the first time. Gradually leave them alone together for longer periods of time.

We let one baby play with our ferrets. He was an absolute doll. They bit at him and hissed at him and he just stood their wagging his tail and smelling them. We separated them for fear of what might happen if they bit too hard but he didn’t seem to mind.

Doctor Me!

We have given your baby it’s first shots. However, our vet recommends that they get a booster shot (a combination of Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, and Erysipelas) about four weeks after you take it home.

Your pig needs the following shots annually:

  • Tetnus
  • Combination:
    • Parvovirus
    • Leptospirosis
    • Erysipelas

Your pig also needs Ivomec. But, you can buy a solution that you mix with their food.

Neutering and Spaying a Pig

Any pig that you do not intend to breed should be fixed by the time it is 3 months old - Trust me!

Learn More About Me!

There are a lots of great books about Pot Belly Pigs available, such as:

  • Pot Bellies and Other Miniature Pigs, A Complete Pet Owner's Manual

Ignore those who say that I don’t exist!

The standard Pot Belly pig breeder does not want miniatures to exist because it hinders their ability to sell their pigs. In addition, many people have been told that their pig was a miniature only to find out that miniature was a relative term. Some people have tried to make their standard Pot Belly into miniatures by not feeding them correctly. Just smile at them and nod your head. Three years from now, when your pig reaches it’s maturity, they will see...

Know How big I will get

Our pigs are between 16 and 17 inches tall. They weigh between 40 and 50 pounds. They should not weigh more than 50 pounds.